Almost as important as understanding the needs of your customer is being honest with him or her. Everybody has heard the stereotypes about sleazy salespeople bent on misleading customers intentionally. This is not a strategy used by sales professionals and it is not something you should include in your sales repertoire.
Sure…you may be sitting across the table from them during the deal, but always realize that an honest approach works better for you and for your customer.
Customers are human — just like you. Although they may come to you to make a purchase, most customers are scared. They are scared because money is difficult to come by for many people (especially given the state of the economy). It doesn’t matter if you are selling a product that costs $30 or $30,000, people are apprehensive when it comes to spending money.
It also doesn’t help that salespeople have been stereotyped as evil liars out to trick people into parting with their hard-earned money. This is a stereotype that every good salesperson must learn to overcome. The easiest way to overcome this perception is to be genuine with people.
Although your customer may not understand every detail about the product you are selling, most people know when they are being lied to. That means you need to spend a great deal of effort being of genuine assistance to your potential clients. Your honesty shines through the preconceived notions a customer might have about you going into a deal and makes for a functional business relationship that could be profitable for years into the future.
You should have a very gentle mentality when dealing with customers. Don’t walk into a deal thinking your the best salesperson for the job and that if anyone can close the sale you’re the person to do it. Although these things may be true, you will be better served by leaving your ego at the door and being the best listener you can. Customers appreciate this genuine interest in their needs much more than any slick sales tactics you might learn along the way.
Getting the Customer to Say Yes (As Often As Possible)
Obviously, customers need to agree to the terms of the sale in order for you to become a successful salesperson. One way that many sales professionals accomplish this is to keep the customer saying yes throughout the sales process. This isn’t a way to trick the customer. Rather, it is a way to keep the tone of the conversation positive throughout the sales experience.
You can do this very simply by asking questions designed to keep the customer in a positive buying mindset. For example, a car salesperson won’t ask a customer what color car they want. This could be answered in many ways and if a particular color isn’t in stock at the time, it could put an end to the purchase long before you have a chance to close the sale. Instead, a good car salesperson will ask the customer if they would like a dark or a light colored vehicle. Although this isn’t a yes or no question exactly, it is the type of question that keeps the customer thinking about the benefits of the product being demonstrated without giving them an opportunity to object for some unrelated reason.
You could also make statements where yes is the only logical answer. For instance, statements such as “It’s a beautiful day, isn’t it?” may seem tacky, but these questions force the customer to say yes throughout the sale. The more often the customer says yes during the presentation, the more likely they are to say yes when it’s time to close the deal.
When combined with a genuine interest in the needs and wants of the customer, this tactic provides a very positive overall experience for the customer.
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